Initially, water was the only drink people knew for million years to quench their thirst and replenish the fluids the body lost. Later, milk came around from the domesticated animals. From there, coffee, tea, beer, and even wine became popular. People found several reasons for their different fluids intake, such as pleasure, taste, and even thirst.
Therefore, it can be daunting to conclude what’s best for one’s health given the availability of many choices. But luckily, some experts conducted a review on the top beverages and health, categorizing them based on calorie intake, the contribution of energy and essential nutrients, and the positive and negative impacts on health. Without a doubt, water bagged the prize.
That does not mean water is the only healthy beverage you must always take, not to mention the cliché of a must wear eight glasses daily for everyone.
Let’s take a look at the categories of healthy beverages from the experts’ point of view.
Water provides pure H20, everything the body needs to restore the lost fluids from sweating, metabolism, breathing, and removal of waste. Better still, it’s the best choice for hydrating your body and quenching thirst anytime, anywhere. Besides, it should be your first option of beverage to turn to always.
Conversely, there’s no set amount of water you need to drink daily. Your intake of water will depend on several things such as weather, diet, and how active you are. Of course, an athlete has a high water intake than an indoor gamer that sits all day playing on the screen.
So the health experts have come up with a required amount for men and women as 15 and 11 cups respectively. But this is not a daily target but a general guide to help you stay on course. Moreover, your water intake can also come from the food you take.
Also, there is a trendy emergence of flavored water. While this may sound interesting from the typical direct and dull taste of water, it would help if you were sure of the flavors’ ingredients. Preferably, you should get such flavored water from a company like seltzernation.com which is renowned for producing reliable beverages without compromising the quality to have adverse effects on your health.
Remember, water is life!
Tea and Coffee
Close second to water is tea and coffee as the most consumed beverages worldwide. If you choose to drink them bare, then the health benefits are right for you. This is because they are calorie-free, filled with antioxidants, flavonoids, and more biologically active components good for one’s health.
For instance, Green Tea from the Japanese culture is famous for its benefits against heart illness, and coffee preventing type-2 diabetes.
While more experiment is necessary to establish added benefits of tea and coffee, things like sugar, whipped cream, flavorings, and other sweeteners will make these drinks unhealthy. However, it helps rule out honey as a harmful sweetener but rather a better substitute to the artificial additions.
Also, it is debatable whether pregnant women should have a limited intake of coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Some studies claim that caffeine intake can increase the rate of miscarriage. Besides, coffee is worth more than just a cup a day.
Low Fat Milk and Soy Beverages
Milk is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D for kids and also adults. However, fortified soy milk is a perfect alternative for those who don’t drink cow’s milk. Generally, these 2 are also a great source of proteins and micronutrients.
Low-fat milk, which you will find constituting 1%-1.5% of milk, or skim milk is an excellent choice due to its fat-free nature. Still, low-fat milk has high calories; hence excessive consumption may cause adverse health effects.
Therefore, adults should limit their intake of milk to a maximum of 2 glasses a day. However, the recommended amount for growing children is unclear, but it would help if you did not push for more than two glasses of milk daily. This is an ideal amount to provide sufficient nutrients without going extreme.
As always, too much is poisonous.
No Calories Sweetened Beverages
Diet sodas and other diet drinks usually get their sweetening from calorie-free artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. The latest sweetener popular in the market is stevia sourced from South and Central American shrub leaves.
Because of the calorie-free nature, they are a better alternative to sugar-sweetened soft drinks. However, since it is unclear their effect on weight gain, you should make them occasionally rather than daily.
For those struggling to give up full-calorie beverages, this is a healthy substitute for a smooth transition. They act like the nicotine patch for smokers who want to quit.
Caloric Beverages with Nutrients
They include fruit juice, sports drinks, vegetable juice, whole milk, alcoholic beverages, and vitamin-enhanced water. Pure fruit juice has all the benefits of the fruits and even better since it delivers more energy.
Conversely, fruit smoothies have high calories; therefore, they should not be a daily intake. Also, vegetable juice is a better substitute for smoothies, but it can contain high sodium. Whole milk also contains high calories due to the high intake of saturated fat. Sports drinks, on the other, are not for casual athletes and walkers due to the low levels of sodium and potassium.
Calorically Sweetened Beverages
Experts least recommend this category of drinks because of the sugar, high-calorie sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup because of the low nutrients. They include all the ‘ades,’ carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, and fruit juice.
They get the thumbs down as an everyday beverage because they give the body many calories and nearly no other nutrients. Regularly drinking these beverages will result in weight gain and a high risk of type-2 diabetes.
In summary, your body would be perfectly comfortable with nothing but pure water as your daily beverage. With water, rest assured of getting all the fluid you need and still obtain all the right nutrients from food. However, with the several choices available, many people prefer to drink a range of beverages. Bear in mind that your health is a line of optimistic or adverse effects, whatever your preference is.